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Kerre McIvor- Bon voyage

Kerre's world tour has begun, but packing it all in hasn't been easy.

As you read this, I’ll be setting out on a magical five-week journey. In the middle of the maelstrom that‘s involved in trying to extricate myself from my life for such a long time, I have moments where I stop and have to pinch myself, because I know just how lucky I am.

Firstly, that Newstalk ZB is letting me take such a big stretch off work. Five weeks is a long time to be away from the radio, and I appreciate it’s quite a disruption for the listeners and my boss, so I’m very grateful.

Secondly, that all the dates worked out to enable me to fit in my mountain climb before I headed off to escort a tour group around the Baltic on a cruise ship. I’d been booked to take the tour for a couple of years, and the dates were set in stone, so it was pure good luck that my other trip, to Tanzania, could be fitted in before the cruise.

“You can see I need a master’s degree to ensure I’m under the 15kg limit”

I’m also very thankful my new husband hasn’t been grumpy about me disappearing for such a long time. It’s a hassle running a house on your own. And I imagine that it will be lonely for him with just the smelly old dog for company. But he has been adamant that this is a wonderful opportunity and I have to take it. He’s also been very good about me borrowing the money meant for the curtains and the new deck so I can go on a five-day safari in-between the mountain climb and the cruise. The ratty old drapes we put up as a stopgap two years ago have desperately needed replacing for a while now, but something always comes up – this time, it’s the opportunity to do a safari.

I could have come home in-between Tanzania and the cruise, but with all the flying, I’d have just one day in New Zealand before I had to turn around and head off again. So, with my husband’s blessing, I will be off to look at the wild animals of the Serengeti up close and personal, and I simply cannot wait.

After the safari, I go from Dar es Salaam to Copenhagen, where I’ll meet up with all my lovely cruise people and we set sail on a wonderful 10-day trip around Scandinavia and Russia.

So, yes, I know I’m lucky. The only minor issue, and I don’t expect much sympathy, is that I’m only allowed a 15kg bag while I journey around Tanzania. Much of the travel involves flying on small aircraft – and when I say small, the mosquitoes in Tanzania are bigger than some of these planes. So 15kg it is, but how on earth do you pack less than 15kg when you’re planning for an ascent of Africa’s highest mountain where the temperature will be -25ºC;  a five-day safari in the scorching sun where long pants and shirts are de rigueur; and a six-star cruise where floaty bejewelled Trelise Cooper dresses are the order of the day?

For heaven’s sake, my bras alone would add up to 15kg! Throw in the camera, binoculars, iPad and laptop – I have to keep up with work while traipsing round the world – and you can see I need a master’s degree in packing to ensure that

I’m under that 15kg limit. I did what I could and it’s all too late now. I’m on my way, and look forward to bringing you my next update from Africa.

When Kerre returns, listen to her on Newstalk ZB, 8pm-midnight, Monday to Thursday.

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